This is a story that has been bouncing around in my head for at least a year, and I thought it was time to finally get it out. It follows the life of a man, woman and one other over the course of conversations they have with God and others. I want to say more than that, but I also don’t want to spoil it.
I will say this much, though: it’s a love story.
When Hannah met David, she immediately knew he was not her type. Through high school and college the guys she dated fit nicely into the wild, stupid, and fun categories. David was quiet. He mostly listened, and when he spoke, it revolved mostly around some topic in the Bible. She grew up with faith in her family, but goodness, not that much.
Still, she went on a couple more dates with him – just to make sure it wouldn’t work. And after another and then another, he began to wear her down. He would open the car door for her which, according to her mother, she should have taken offense at. “Like you can’t open your own damn door!” her mother would say, reviling the patriarchy and sipping her glass of Merlot.
David’s demeanor was so soft, though. She found herself telling him way too much too soon. He had a listening kind of quiet to him. Bit by bit, she wondered if wild, stupid and fun were really what she wanted.
But to be fair, there was something wild about David, and it was his faith. The guy went entirely beyond the boundaries of a normal, private interest in God to an almost fanatical obsession with him. He believed the whole Catholic thing: church every Sunday, refusing to go further than hold her hand, saying “Let’s pray about this” whenever she told him some problem going on in her life and referring to Mary as “Our Lady”. The only other time she heard that reference was when her Latin friends were making fun of their grandparents.
Again, though, he wore her down. Whether she wanted it or not, his faith began igniting her own. She remembered going to Mass when she slept over at her friend’s home in elementary school. Sure, she wasn’t crazy about religion, but her memories were good ones – the light coming through the stained glass, the smell of the incense, the congregation singing and chanting like one great being. When she visited again while dating David, all the feels came back.
A year later, he did what, for some reason, she thought would never happen. He proposed to her. Hannah was never one to see beyond the current week, and here was her boyfriend asking her to spend the rest of her life with him.
She knew, at some point, this had to happen. This relationship was going somewhere or it had to stop. It wasn’t fair to string him along if she wasn’t ready to accept him for who he was and join him where he was. But was she ready to join him? To say to him, “Your people will be my people, your God will be my God”? She didn’t say yes, but she didn’t say no. She had to talk to someone first.
So on a bright spring afternoon, she sat on a bench at her local park and waited for him. They would sort this out one on one.
He came and sat next to her on the bench.
“Hello Hannah,” he said.
“Hello, God,” said Hannah.
©2020 Catholic Anonymous
Continue reading this story: Chapter 2